They say it takes a village, right? (a.k.a. parenting advice needed!)

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I used to think that at some point you just got the hang of parenting and it ceased to be so much of a challenge. I just assumed that when it came to the little things it was all pretty standard and there was a one size fits all solution. I’m pretty sure the last time I thought that I was pregnant with my firstborn because I KNOW that I couldn’t have thought that after actually having kids. The thing about kids that you may not realize before you actually have some of your own is, they’re human beings. Unique, individual, different, challenging human beings. So you never really get the hang of it anymore than you can get the hang of dealing with the rest of humanity.

Case in point, my Juniper. You have never met a sweeter, more lovable girl. She is so easy to snuggle and she loves nothing more than to be in your arms. She’s laid back and happy. Unless, that is, you take away the one thing she loves the most in this world. Her mom. Or, perhaps more accurately, her mom’s boobs. She is a breastfeeding fiend. It was rough for a while because the child has never taken a bottle a day in her life. Not when I spent two whole days pumping enough milk so I could go on a date (I’m miserable at pumping). Not when I made Dr. Sears’ goat milk formula for her. Not when I broke down and tried regular formula. Or whole milk. NEVER.

But we muddled through that time because (and this is my M.O. for getting through tough parenting seasons) I knew it couldn’t possibly last forever. And I was right because she will now happily take a sippy cup. With watered down juice. Not milk in any way shape or form. Juice only. But, and correct me here if I’m wrong, I’m thinking when babies turn one they need whole milk, right? Or is that one of those mainstream parenting myths? Because I’m not quite sure what to do since she won’t drink milk or water on its own.

She still nurses on demand so I guess she’s getting most of what she needs that way but I can’t let go of the thought that she needs to be transitioning to some other kind of milk at some point. Unless I want her to breastfeed until she is five. And despite all my hippie dippy leanings, I do not feel like nursing her until she starts kindergarten. So, tell me, oh crunchy granola mothers of the internet world, does my baby need to transition to milk (breast, whole, almond, coconut, etc) in a sippy cup or is she okay to be nursing on demand and drinking a bit of super watered down juice in a sippy? I’ve truly never had a kid refuse to drink from anything other than, well, me. : )

5 Responses

  1. Kelly Says:

    My (completely non-expert) instinct is that since breastfeeding at this age is totally the norm in much of the world, it’s probably nutritionally sound. I always thought that milk at age one was meant to be a replacement for formula, not breast milk. And many cultures eat little to no dairy with no ill effects, so I think that while it’s nutritious, it’s not the only way to get those nutrients.

    Found this via a quick LLLI.org search – it might ease your mind: http://www.llli.org/nb/nbsepoct07p196.html

    But I’m so sorry that she won’t give you at least an occasional break – that’s got to be tough.

  2. Amanda R. Says:

    Atticus is addicted to breastfeeding (he calls my boobies “mamas”). When he was a year old he began transitioning to drinking milk from a sippy. However, at first he only did this when he was at daycare and I wasn’t around. If I was anywhere in the house he wouldn’t accept any sort of milk.

    Maybe if those times you went on dates or if you have any babysitting switching the only option was cows milk? I’ve also heard that putting 3/4 of breast milk to 1/4 of cow’s milk and then gradually increasing the cow’s milk portion works, but it sounds like you’re like me and pumping is hard with the high demand of breastfeeding.

    I think the whole “they NEED cow’s milk” is a myth. Breastmilk should be fine. Good luck!

  3. Katie Says:

    Jude totally refuses cow’s milk. He’s never liked it at all. He eats yogurt, LOVES sour cream, and loves cheese so much that I have to hide it from him. Dr. B said that as long as he is getting a bit of dairy here and there through various sources, I definitely don’t need to worry. And remember that calcium comes in some green vegetables and other sources as well, so kids with allergies rely on those sources alone. Jude would drink from a bottle (thankfully since I worked for a few months of his infancy), but he would never drink breastmilk from a sippy. It was weird. Kids have a mind of their own for sure… so many little quirks!

  4. Janice Searwar Says:

    My 17 mth. old was exclusively breastfeed (no solid food) until 11 mths. He doesn’t drink cow’s milk at all (only has a bit of organic whole milk on cereal). My 6 kids do not drink milk on a regular basis (just too expensive) and they get calcium from other sources. So, my 17 mth. old is still nursing several times per day (and a couple times most nights). I am 23 weeks pregnant, and doing well with nursing. Just hungry!! Best to you as you seek what is best for you and your daughter.

  5. Melanie H Says:

    From a nutritional standpoint, it’s great! Human milk adapts and changes to meet a child’s growing needs…milk for a toddler has higher mineral content like potassium, calcium, and sodium contents than infant milk. She is also getting antibodies & protective enzymes that cow’s milk (or soy, hemp, coconut, etc) does not contain. The World Health Organization recommends nursing for 2+ years because of the health benefits…it’s just not mainstream in the US.

    If you are restless & tired of nursing then this is a compelling reason to wean…but don’t let others make the call for you because they are comfortable with it. Drop me a note if you need further reassurances :-)

    Melanie
    LLL Leader & IBCLC